You have developed a split personality, a Jekyll and Hyde kind of thing.
One minute, you are the cutest little thing that's ever walked the earth. You giggle at the slightest provocation and make the most adorable off-the-wall statements. (The other night you were eating a bunch of grapes and you discovered a tiny one. You said, "Little tiny grape. He needs his mommy," and then you held a bigger grape next to him.) You pedal your tricycle, smiling with pride as we cheer you on. You explore the yard, picking up sticks that become your prized possessions. You ask us to tickle you. You sit rapt beside us as we read you long books. You squeal with delight at the sight of cats. You make friends with other kids in restaurants, who you call "my girl" or "my boy." You make up stories, like the other day when I asked why you cried in the car, and you told me that a BUG! was on you, a RED BUG!, a BIG RED BUG WAS STINGIN' ME! A LADYBUG!
But then there is the next minute, when you are so crazy and grumpy and screamy that I don't know what to do with you. You stick your bottom lip out just like a caricature of a bratty kid, and everything makes you mad. You want water and, if we give it to you, it's in the wrong cup. You cry when I take off the baby's clothes and you scream when I try to put them back on. You hit me or pull my hair just to see my reaction. You throw yourself on the ground. And the screaming, oh. my. god., the screaming. You have perfected an absolutely ear-piercing shriek that you like to use whenever something displeases you. I think you are learning that it is particularly useful in public places, like restaurants. You use it like a weapon, and it is a powerful one. The other week, we went to Pennsylvania to visit your grandparents, and on the way home, you screamed like a maniac the whole way to the airport. I will never know why. After a while I felt as if something cracked inside me. If I hadn't been driving, I probably would have hit you. By the time we got to the security line, and you were still screaming and running away from me and rolling on the dirty floor and screaming some more, I was carrying your kicking body and crying. It took me the rest of the day to recover.
Despite it all, you are, in so many ways, an inspiration to me. I envy your presence, your ability to be exactly where you are, without thought for the past or the future. You live in the moment in a way I can only dream of. And your enthusiasm, your sheer joy, is beautiful. You are totally unjaded and without pretense. If you see a friend, you are not ashamed to show your excitement by squealing and running in circles in the driveway. Even in your fits, I can't help admiring you. You feel everything fully, and you let it out without regard to who might hear or how it might make you look. You don't think, "It's a beautiful day and I'm in a beautiful park and the spring blossoms are bursting. I shouldn't be sad." No, you just go on and cry in the beautiful garden, with no regard for how you "should" feel. If we could all live the way you do, we would probably be happier.